10 Yoga and Mindfulness Programs

Are you wondering what programs you will be supporting during our GivingTuesday Yogathon on November 28? Here is a list of 10 of the programs you will be supporting as we raise $10,000 on #GivingTuesday!
1. Brooke Road Academy

  • PYR launched its first community partnership at Brook Road Academy at St. Joseph’s Villa in March 2011, offering yoga and mindfulness to middle and high schoolers, including those facing extraordinary challenges.  Drawing from the program’s success, PYR has developed and implemented yoga and mindfulness partnerships for individuals and communities of all abilities and ages.

    “Project Yoga Richmond has given members of the Brook Road Academy community opportunities to better understand the dynamic interactions among the body, brain, and breath – an integral part of learning that fosters critical reflections and self awareness.” – Ben Walters, English Dept. Chair, Brook Road Academy

2. The Founder’s Center for Commonwealth Autism
  • We offer yoga as a part of The Founders Center of Commonwealth Autism‘s Transition Program each week! Yoga has been a great way for students to engage in physical activity at their own level! And we love having the chance to visit our friends as we share the benefits of the practice with Commonwealth Autism!
  • The physical sequences are similar from week to week (or class to class) to build confidence, encourage exploration, gain a sense of empowerment and independence, and ultimately increase mobility, strength, and balance.  

“Our Transition Program has an adapted yoga class with teachers from Project Yoga Richmond once a week. It has been a great way for our students to engage in physical activity at their own level.” – The Founder’s Center of Commonwealth Autism

3. Freedom Yoga: Yoga for Special Needs
  • Offered the first Saturday of each month from 12:30-1:30pm at PYR’s studio.
  • This class is tailored toward students with intellectual disabilities, everyone in the community is welcome to join!

“Freedom Yoga was a doorway to yoga for us because there weren’t any other places we could go that were calm, relaxing, enveloping, and welcoming to yoga students with special needs, and now we even go to a gentle yoga class together on the regular schedule with all the other students! … It has opened up a whole world of opportunity.”
-Parent of a Freedom Yoga Student

4. ESOL Yoga with the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Passport to Education at Greene Elementary and Salem Church Middle

  • Many ESOL students have shared stories of separations and reunifications due to migration, interrupted schooling, difficult, and border detentions. These experiences often have a traumatic impact on students, which manifests in the classroom and in daily life.
  • PYR  has studied Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, conducted by Kaiser Permanante and the CDC, and uses yoga, meditation, and mindfulness as a community resource for serving youth and helping to build resilience.  These trauma-informed classes have supported students as they heal trauma and build resilience.
    • Yoga provides a fully integrated experience by which a connection is made to one’s own body and to others.
    • Through breath, movement, and experience in the present moment, yoga creates rhythms that aid in regulation.
    • Yoga is a structured, supported, self-paced way for students to make small, manageable choices with respects to their bodies – and the shapes they make – that are kind and compassionate.  In making these safe, healthy choices, students can start developing skills around acting rather than reacting
  • Yoga supports ESOL learners to develop language skills and resiliency and fosters community and connection.

“I feel very calm and I can forget about the things that I do not like to think about. I calm down and then don’t need to be so upset anymore. I am grateful because you have taught me to control myself, thank you for your teachings, to be able to control my breath”. – PYR Programs Student

5. Boushall Middle School  and Lucille Brown Middle School with Next Up RVA

  • Half of PYR’s Community Partnerships engage children & youth!
  •  We introduce breathing exercises, relaxation, and visualization techniques as a support to cope with and reduce stress, improve focus/concentration and self-regulation, and promote a general sense of health and emotional well-being.

“For those moments when I feel scared, sad, joyful, disgusted, accepting, ashamed, loving, gentle, or anything and everything else, there is immaculate calm inside me. It’s beautiful. It’s imperfect. It is why I do yoga.” -PYR Programs Student

6. Aspree Adult Day Services
  • This program engages adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 
  • These adaptive yoga classes are focused on building strength, developing regulation skills through breathing, improving mobility and maintaining/improving overall health and emotional well-being. Additionally, these classes provide a sense of belonging and community.  
7. Senior Center East at Peter Paul Development Center
  • Yoga for seniors supports health benefits, increases mobility and strength, and provides a sense of belonging and community. We have noticed that seniors are able to balance and hold poses for longer, extend their legs and arms higher, and remain in seated savasana/meditation for longer
  • We offer yoga for seniors at Senior Center EAST at Peter Paul Development Center and Marywood Court Senior Apartments
8. Y12SR

  • Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) supports people recovering from all manifestations of addiction, from behavioral addictions to substance abuse – creating a safe place on the mat where trauma can be released. It also supports those who are impacted by a loved one’s addiction.
  • We offer Y12SR at our studio every Tuesday 5:30-7pm and the first Friday of each month from 5:30-7 pm.
9. Trauma-Informed Yoga for Women

  • Yoga provides a supportive space to reconnect with the body, as a mind-body disconnect is often a result of traumatic experiences.  Yoga is grounding and allows practitioners a framework to practice making space from traumatic thoughts, all the while exposing folks to their present moment experience.
  • Join us every other Sunday from 12:30-1:30 pm for Love Your Body: Yoga for Women to experience trauma-informed techniques for yourself!
10. Binford Middle School with Higher Achievement
  • Project Yoga Richmond receives evaluations from program participants, yoga instructors, and partner organization staff ton the impact of the yoga and mindfulness classes.  Many of them cite positive effects of yoga for adolescents, including:
    • Less anxiety
    • A greater sense of self and belonging
    • Developed the ability to self-monitor
    • Better focus
    • Felt less reactive
Support these programs today!

6 Simple Yoga Poses You Can Use Right Now to Fight Fatigue

Written by: Lucy Wyndham

Your eyelids are getting heavy. Your brain is moving at a snail’s pace. Whether you are sitting in your office chair on a boring afternoon or trying to wrangle your children after work, the struggle with fatigue is real. Fortunately, these yoga poses will help reinvigorate you.

Savasana

Savasana improves mental concentration, offers total relaxation, and is a fantastic way to relieve fatigue at home. You start by lying on your back with your legs stretched in front of you. Your feet will fall to either side. Close your eyes and place your arms on the sides of your body with palms up. You can hold this pose for five to ten minutes or for however long you want. Breathe into your belly. Keep the focus on your inhales and exhales or engage in breathing exercises and meditations.

Supine Twist

The supine twist releases the lower back, opens the shoulders, quiets the mind, and improves digestion. You start by lying on your back with your feet on the ground and your knees bent. Keeping your left shoulder and the sides of your feet on the ground, let both of your knees fall to the right side of your body. Lastly, look over your left shoulder and put your arms out to make a T.

Legs Up the Wall

You can do this with a chair or against the wall. Begin parallel to the wall. Lean backward as you twist your legs toward the wall. In a comfortable position, let your legs rest on the wall. If you find the floor uncomfortable, you can use a blanket or pillow for your hips or head. Notice your breathing as you place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly.

Cat/Cow

Start with your hands shoulder distance apart and knees hip distance as you are on your hands and knees. Roll the shoulders back, lift up your hips, look forward, and let your belly lower as you inhale. Round the spine, let the head drop, and tuck the hips as you exhale. This improves digestion, relieves back pain, and opens up the spine.

Child’s

With your knees a few inches wider than your hips and your feet together, sit on the floor. Rest your forehead on the floor by walking your hands forward. Use a blanket or pillow under your forehead if it does not reach the floor. Take deep, slow breaths.

Butterfly

Relieve fatigue by sitting on the floor with the soles of your feet together. Open the feet like a book and round the spine. Then, fold forward towards your feet.

 

Fight fatigue with us by practicing with PYR 7 days a week at our pay-what-you-can studio!

GivingTuesday Yogathon!

Practice with and support Project Yoga Richmond for the Global Day of Giving, GivingTuesday, on November 28!

We have 24 hours to raise $10,000 to support 10 of our yoga and mindfulness programs across the Greater Richmond region and we need YOU to help us meet our goal!

Photo thanks to Rich Young

 

 

Project Yoga Richmond is dedicated to making yoga accessible and affordable to all, regardless of physical or financial ability. Give back to your community by supporting Project Yoga Richmond on#givingtuesday, the Global Day of Giving! We will be hosting a Yogathon at our studio, 6517 Dickens Place, on November 28 to increase access to yoga!

 

1. Donate

We need to raise $10,000 in 24 hours! We will have special giveaways from Yoga Direct throughout the day as you donate to give back as you give to your community!

 

2. Practice 

Unroll the mat at our Yogathon to unroll the mat for your community as you embody the power of your practice during our Yogathon to support our programs!

 

3. Share


Donate and share with your friends how yoga has impacted your life and why you choose to support Project Yoga Richmond! Be sure to tag @ProjectYogaRichmond in your Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn posts!

 

 

 

 

What treats can you expect throughout the day?!
  • Health Warrior
  • Blanchard’s Coffee
  • Red Eye Cookies
  • Coppola’s Carytown
  • WPA Bakery
  • Yoga Direct

 

Thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details! Click here to learn more about the 10 programs you will be supporting!

Make a Donation!

If you would like to learn more about how to support, sponsor, or make a matching gift, please contact holly@projectyogarichmond.org 

 

Do Something

Do Something

A letter on behalf of Sue Agee:

 “Do something. Just do something.”

-Dr. Maya Angelou

Join me today by making a gift to Project Yoga Richmond.

I may not be able to change the world by myself, but I can certainly start with myself, my family, and my community here in Richmond. Yoga and mindfulness practices provide a way to make a difference within myself and my community. You, too, can make a difference.

As a nurse, a yoga teacher, and a perpetual student of yoga, I have seen and experienced the impact the practice makes in my life and in so many others. It is called yoga “practice” to encourage applying the practice beyond the yoga mat and into your daily life. When applying the principles of yoga into your life, you truly see the gifts yoga offers.

Over the years, I have served in almost every role at Project Yoga Richmond: student, volunteer, ambassador, and board member. I have remained dedicated to PYR because I believe everyone deserves access to these timeless teachings of yoga. Project Yoga Richmond opens the door to everyone. We enable folks who would not be able to have a budget for Yoga and Mindfulness classes to have low cost or no cost yoga available to them. Join me in creating greater access to yoga by making a gift to Project Yoga Richmond today.

PYR Program for ESOL Students

We teach ancient and simple techniques to help ease stress, calm the mind, strengthen the body, increase flexibility, reclaim balance, and improve focus. Calming breathing techniques and guided movement remind us that we are capable of great kindness and have more to offer fellow humankind. You can offer kindness to yourself and your community by giving the gift of yoga today.

Project Yoga Richmond supports these benefits for all through our pay-what-you-can studio and community partnership programs across the Greater Richmond Region. PYR provides real tools for real practice to real lives. There are so many ways that you can help – donate, take a workshop, join an ongoing class, help support our work in the community, share your talents, ease your mind and body, feel the love.  Today I am asking you to consider making a gift to Project Yoga Richmond. With your help we can increase access to yoga for all. 

Be kind to yourself and kind to others. Do something, just do something.

Much love to you,
Sue Agee, RN, E-RYT500
PYR Ambassador, former Board Member, Yoga Teacher, and Volunteer

Top 4 Yoga for Special Needs Programs in Your Community

Yoga for special needs classes provide a sense of belonging and community. These adaptive yoga classes focus on building strength, developing regulation skills through breathing, improving mobility and maintaining/improving overall health and emotional well-being.The physical sequences are similar from week to week (or class to class) to build confidence, encourage exploration, gain a sense of empowerment and independence, as well as increasing mobility, strength and balance.

 

PYR offers 4 Yoga for Special Needs programs:

Aspree Adult Day Services

Running weekly since Spring 2013 

Instructors: Sarah Humphries and Dan Weiseman

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

 

Founders Center of Commonwealth Autism

Running weekly since October 2012

Instructor: Carrie Puryear

Population Served: Teens with Autism (we work with the Upper School)

 

 

Freedom Yoga

Running monthly since Spring 2013 at PYR

Instructor: Carrie Puryear

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, their friends and family, and is also open to the entire community

 

This was a doorway to yoga for us because there weren’t any other places we could go that was calm and relaxing and enveloping and welcoming and now we even go to a gentle yoga class on the regular schedule with all the other students.  It has opened up a whole world that I never thought we would have the opportunity.” – Parent of a Freedom Yoga Student
Transitions Day Support Services

Running weekly since April 2015

Instructor: Natasha Foreman

Population Served: Adults with Intellectual Disabilities

 

 

“My brother and I wanted to thank you and Special Olympics for the So-Fit program and share with you all the difference it has made in his health.  He really took the program very seriously and actively participated in the Yoga and Exercise programs.

I must say the coaches at Yoga and JCC were excellent!  They gave individual attention to each member, which really made him try harder to accomplish especially the Yoga positions.

In July, we went to see his primary care physician, Dr. David Taminger, with results that were remarkable.  Not only had he lost a total of 14 pounds, but also had the best lab results this year.  For his diabetes the results of his HbA1C,  which is a measure of your average blood glucose levels was 1.2 points lower.  His fasting glucose level was also within normal limits. His cholesterol levels was also so much lower. Overall he showed remarkable improvements. His doctor sent us a note saying, ” Whatever you are doing, please keep up the good work.”

This program really worked and I am so glad that we were participants.  Not only was it fun and gave him an opportunity to see old friends at the program, it has made a substantial difference in his health.  My only wish is to have a continuation of this program on a more permanent basis.”

Testimonial from a sister of a participant

Each time you practice with and support Project Yoga Richmond, you make programs and impacts like this possible.  Provide the benefits of yoga to all, make a donation today!
Increase Access!
Why Yoga Direct?

Why Yoga Direct?

Have you been wondering why Project Yoga Richmond keeps mentioning Yoga Direct lately?

Photo Cred: McAbbott Studios

 

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Our mission is to make yoga accessible and affordable to all and Yoga Direct supports us as we work hard to achieve that. Project Yoga Richmond has chosen to use Yoga Direct as our supplier for all of our studio and community partnership program yoga mat and prop needs since 2012 because they make their quality products affordable and reliable.

 

This year, Yoga Direct decided to deepen their support by sponsoring Saturday Salutations at the VMFA, and we could not be more excited about the partnership. We are honored to have a company we have trusted and personally used for years deepening their relationship with the PYR community. Through their sponsorship, Yoga Direct is helping to increase access to yoga by supporting our community programs and offering mat giveaways for Saturday Salutations participants.

 

You can try out the Yoga Direct products we know and love 7 days a week at our pay-what-you-can studio! Our personal choice for our studio and outreach needs is the Premium Yoga Mat, which we have used this product in our studio since 2012, and five years later it still supports our students!

 

 

As a special thank you to the entire PYR and Yoga Direct community, we would like to offer you a special discount on Yoga Direct products to continue to support your practice!

 

Our Gift to You!

Shop at Kroger, Support PYR

You can now support PYR each time you shop at Kroger!
Here’s how:

1. Click this link.

2. Look at the top right hand corner:

  • Click Sign In if you already have a Kroger Online account (this is not the same as a Kroger Plus Card)
  • Click Register if you do not have an account
    • Sign up for a Kroger Rewards Account
    • Check your email inbox and confirm your account

4. Click Edit Kroger Community Rewards information and input your Kroger Plus Card number.

5.  On the Find Your Organization page, enter 93262. as your non-profit number. “Select Your Organization” then pops us up, select Project Yoga Richmond and click “Enroll”

Now each time you shop with your Kroger Plus Card, YOU are supporting Project Yoga Richmond!

Set Up Your Account

How Can Yoga Support Recovery?

What is Y12SR?

Y12SR (Yoga of 12-Step Recovery) “connects the dots” between the ancient wisdom of yoga, the practical tools of 12-step programs, and the latest research on trauma healing and neurobiology. As part of a holistic recovery program, it works in tandem with traditional treatment to address the physical, mental and spiritual disease of addiction.

The program serves people recovering from all manifestations of addiction, from behavioral addictions to substance abuse – creating a safe place on the mat where trauma can be released. It also supports those who are impacted by a loved one’s addiction. Weekly meetings led by certified Y12SR leaders are available in community settings across the United States. Y12SR is also offered as an adjunctive therapy in a growing number of addiction recovery treatment centers.

“The 12 Step program and Yoga connect us with ourselves, with others, with Spirit. The practices and principles of these two united paths return us to wholeness- and create community, purpose, joy, and freedom. This is the treasure offered to us in Y12SR.”

– PYR Cofounder and Y12SR Leadership Trainer, Dana Walters

3 Elements to Y12SR Classes:
  1. Open to anyone dealing with their own maladaptive behavior or affected by the maladaptive behavior of others.  This is an open and inclusive group.  “All A’s are welcome.”
  2. The 12-step based discussion/group sharing circle is followed by an intentional, themed meditations and/or breathwork and yoga practice.
  3. The asana practice offered is “yoga neutral”; these classes are always accessible for every body.  
PYR’s Y12SR Offerings:
  • Every Tuesday at 5:30pm at Project Yoga Richmond Studio
    • Open to the community, drop-in, and pay-what-you-can
  • Fridays at Chesterfield County Jail
    • Offered to residents enrolled in the Bridge program
    • The Bridge program operates as a collaboration of services between the Sheriff’s Office and Chesterfield Mental Health Support Services.  Bridge is a program for court-involved individuals in recovery; the program is strictly voluntary and not court-ordered.
    • The purpose of Bridge is to offer its participants a variety of dynamic programming to address and understand addiction and trauma and to facilitate sustainable, skill-based tools and techniques in breaking destructive habits and developing a sense of empowerment.
  • Upcoming Workshop with Y12SR Founder, Nikki Myers
    • Nov 3- Nov 5
    • Using lecture, discussion, experiential exercises and the tools of yoga (asana, pranayama, meditation, chanting, etc.) this 3-day intensive examines the root of codependency and presents tools for healing through a process of awareness, self-love and creativity. Space is limited, save your spot today!

 

Support Yoga for Recovery by signing up in advance and unrolling your mat with us for Saturday Salutations at the VMFA, Presented by PYR and Yoga Direct!

Sign Up

4 Ways Trauma Informed Yoga Supports Students

Yoga provides a supportive space to reconnect with the body, as a mind-body disconnect is often a result of traumatic experiences.  Yoga is grounding and allows practitioners a framework to practice making space from traumatic thoughts, all the while exposing folks to their present moment experience.

Trauma informed yoga empowers students with knowledge and choice. Here are 4 ways trauma-informed classes support students!

  1. Provides a lot of information about the function of each posture
  2. Language used during class is invitational and as inclusive as possible
  3. Many options are provided so that each practitioner can discover their edge appropriately, with the right amount of challenge and comfort
  4. Emphasizes the therapeutic aspects of asana
Everyone could benefit from a trauma-informed yoga class as it offers a welcoming and empowering space to explore the body, breath, mind, emotions!

Join us at Saturday Salutations at the VMFA on September 9 at 9am with Izzy Shurte as we highlight and support our Trauma-Informed Yoga Outreach programs. You can also join us every other Sunday from 12:30-1:30pm for Love Your Body: Yoga for Women to experience trauma-informed techniques for yourself!

4 Benefits of Yoga for Senior Citizens

In addition to the physical and mental benefits, yoga provides a sense of belonging and community. One of the populations where we have seen these benefits is when offer Yoga for Seniors. 

“This particular site started as a residence for Russian seniors. One of the first things I noticed was that all of my students, regardless of nationality, began to look out for each other. They took interest in what was going on with their fellow yogis, despite nationality. I have called it my mini-UN because the population is so diverse!” – Sarah Humphries (PYR Ambassador at Marywood)

Project Yoga Richmond has offered Yoga for Seniors since 2012, and we currently offer programs at Marywood Senior Apartments with Sarah Humphries (PYR Ambassador) and Senior Center East at Peter Paul Development Center with Twylah Ekko (PYR Ambassador).

 

Benefits of Yoga for Seniors
  1. Sense of belonging and community
  2. Improvements in mobility, overall health, and emotional well-being
  3. Increased confidence, independence, agency, and creativity
  4. Increased mobility, strength, and balance
What are some elements of our Yoga for Seniors classes?
  • Similar sequences each week
  • Low impact, gentle movement using the support of the chair; balancing poses using the support of the chair (if needed);
  • Breathing techniques and meditation
  • Physical sequences are similar from week to week 
  • Senior Center EAST has a devotional at the end of class

Unroll your mat with us at our pay-what-you-can studio and Saturday Salutations at the VMFA on August 5 as we highlight Yoga for Seniors.Support our outreach programs by paying-what-you-can when you sign up for this event! And know that anytime you pay-what-you-can for class at our studio 7-days a week, you are supporting outreach like this!

If you would like to learn more about how to support Yoga for youth or to sponsor one of our outreach programs, you can make a donation by clicking here 365 days a year or contact holly@projectyogarichmond.org for more information!

The latest on classes and special events, plus an inside look at how practicing with PYR helps our community. Sign up here.